Steven Brust is the brother of Cynthia Brust Moore, a lifelong supporter of the Trotskyist movement who passed away on September 1. He is an author living in Minneapolis, Minnesota (See: “Cynthia Brust Moore (1944-2017): A steadfast supporter of the Trotskyist movement”).
When I sat down to write this, my intention was to make it a personal rather than a political remembrance, but just a few attempts to set down my thoughts convinced me that this was impossible. In our family, to separate the personal from the political would be like trying to separate science from technology.
My sister grew up in a different period, not only from those becoming politically conscious today, but from me. We were 12 years apart. Those 12 years meant she was aware and thinking during the McCarthy witch-hunts, the Korean War, the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement (in which she participated), and during the split with the Socialist Workers Party and the founding of the Workers League. On reflection, it was this difference, as much as anything else, that was the foundation of our conversations, as, in the last few years, we’d discuss articles in the WSWS, or make our own faltering attempts to understand current events.
And from there, we’d move on to literature, to popular entertainment, to family, to her work with disabled children, to interactions on social media. But looking back as best I can with the loss so fresh, I think it was the perspective provided by those 12 years that made me so eager to hear her thoughts, even as we would both wish more than once that we could discuss these things with our parents.
She would talk of her heart transplant, and the wonders that medical science could accomplish, and then about how criminal it was that so many are denied medical care. To Cynthia, this was one and the same conversation. The personal, the social, the family, the political—they went to make up someone who loved with all her heart and thought with all her brain.
When I think of her, I see her grin, and I hear her laugh, and how her voice would soften when she spoke of her family, and harden when she spoke of the ravages of capitalism, especially on the most vulnerable. She was the sister who put up with me when I was at my most difficult, celebrated my triumphs with me, consoled me with both love and wisdom when I was troubled. She leaves behind an imperishable memory in everyone who knew her.